WinPicks Reference Manual

Appendix A.8. How WinPicks Produces a Line

After you select a database and a formula, WinPicks produces its own line based on the relative strength of the two teams. As we mentioned earlier, the actual line is based on public perception of the game. The key to successful handicapping is to find meaningful differences between the public perception of the game, and the actual strength of the teams involved in the game. In other words, if you can out think the public, you can beat the line.

You can look for these differences by adjusting a formula's betting window. For example, if you set the window from 1 to 7 points, the formula recommends picks when the actual line differs from the WinPicks line by 1 to 7 points. If you increase the size of the window, the formula recommends more picks. If you decrease the size of the window, the formula recommends fewer picks.

WinPicks might do a poor job picking games if the difference between the actual line and the WinPicks line is too large. If a formula disagrees with the oddsmakers by a large amount, it might be overlooking some non-statistical factor that is influencing the line. Or, it might be relying too much on unimportant statistics. The best picks are often close to the actual line, but still provide the slight edge needed to win.

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